Yesterday about two hours before quitting time my foreman announced that we would work over today, New Year's Eve but not to worry we'd get to leave early on Friday. So today I worked over.

Fridays are very important days for any working man, but your basic Friday doesn't outrank New Year's Eve. Not by a long shot. But i can't really blame my foreman. He doesn't get it. You see he's a dear friend of mine, and a recovering fundamentalist. Now ask yourself, what do you do when you're a fundamentalist and 19 on New Year's Eve? You go where the partiers are and try to make people come to Jesus. Harassing a bunch of drunks. and then getting abused in return doesn't make for a very rewarding holiday. Or, he told me that before he met his wife he often spent the day with his friend and his friend's fundie parents. As one of his Sunday School students once told him, "Chris, you never were a teenager."

Not that he's a bad guy, mind you. Far from it. As i said, he grew up a fundie but is no more, simply because he's honest enough to have decided to go with the evidence when the evidence and dogma conflicted. Not too many people have the courage and to abandon deeply held beliefs. But he doesn't get New Year's Eve, and really shouldn't be expected to.

Since we ride to the job together, it fell to me to explain to him, that if he had a crew full of young kids, he'd a have a crew in open revolt for making an announcement like that. Most places quit by noon on New Year's Eve. And he understood what i was telling him. But he felt he had no choice. Our project manager had riding him to hang the light poles for security reasons. But the company hadn't let us have the company bucket truck. so we'd have a crane to raise the poles onto their base.

But because Chris did understand, he allowed people who wanted to to depart early, and he decided that he too might be willing to let everyone go if things went well.

Naturally, Murphy is with you whenever you decide to let people go early on a holiday "if things go well'.

Of course, some might say their was more against us than the impending holiday. The school we are remodeling was built immediately adjacent to an indian mound. And there is a rumor that human bones had been dug up during the excavations of the new, expanded playground. Frankly, rumors fly on job sites, and this was a juicier taie than most. Certainly it would have been better to let Chief Sleeping Dog lie where he was. But, i don't believe in curses or superstition. And I can't really imagine some long dead person going, 'gee the excavators just dug me up for some white kids, let's fuck with the electricians right before the new year." That just seems a little far-fetched. On the other hand, if you're the sort of person who avidly studies Nostradamus, you can find cause for trouble.

And trouble there was. The first note of discord came when bucket truck broke two miles out of the shop. But the slow day meant we were able to borrow a big diesel forklift. The light pole bases which had been poured by a subcontractor had the studs and pipes poorly located. So we hammered pried and begged until the poles would set down on their studs. One of the ligths itself had arrived broken, and two had broken covers. Nothing to do there but order new ones. Then a pull string broke as we were pulling in a wire so we'd have something strong enough to pull the real wires in. Naturally a new string would not blow (or suck) in. And when we tried to fish the string out, the fish tape got stuck so tight, we had to use the forklift to pull it out.

Like I said, Murphy. Or perhaps probability rearing its ugly head. in construction there are days when things go smooth as silk. By doing good work and thinking ahead from Day One you can make certain that a lot of later days go smooth. As another journeyman and i agreed, that if you do things right during the rough in everything goes well. You can't make money cobbing. But there are times where small errors and chance combine to make the day a bitch.

That a bad day will happen now and then is a function of probability. That it would happen when you desperately wanted a smooth day is irony. I sometimes wonder if irony and entropy are natural forces, deeply embedded within the structure of this universe.

Proof has been attained. E2 crashed (or so it seems) just as as was submitting this. Irony is with me, again. Or did Jet-Poop strike again?